The Elephant in the Room

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by bengalraider, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    How India Gives Global Governance the Biggest Headache - By Barbara Crossette | Foreign Policy

    An article that comes out scathingly against India by Barbara Crossette, a former New Delhi bureau chief for the New York Times. let me start one by one on the points she has made

    1) She talks about India not signing the Nuclear Non- proliferation treaty but is India's safety possible if we sign it in a region as volatile as ours is the question she fails to answer.Also the timing of the NPT agreement in 1968 was decided keeping in mind that India was fast progressing on an nuclear weapons path and would soon conduct a test(which it did in 1974), the NPT timing was designed to try to keep India out. As for the Pakistanis following Indian tests in 1998 it is widely rumored that they conducted their first test at Lop Nor in May 1983 the same was attended by the then Pakistani foreign minister Yakub Khan. The nuclear proliferation in south Asia was accelerated by A.Q.khans nuclear walmart not by anything India has ever done.

    2) As far as environmental issue are concerned India has a far lower per capita ratio of carbon emissions than most if not all of the developed world. India has also put in a rigid system of environmental controls wherein we are trying to control pollution without signing any agreements" the DPCC directive to all five star hotels in Delhi to get ISO14001 certified being one". Copenhagen failed not because of India refusing to sign "As she herself says we are but a nation of little bearing in world affairs" she should read the article below

    If you want to know who's to blame for Copenhagen, look to the US Senate | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian

    as for Doha one needs only to follow the link to see who the experts blame
    International Economic Law and Policy Blog: The Doha Failure: Plenty of Blame to Go Around

    3) While vested Interests within the Indian Polity may or may not have pushed for the removal of Paul Wolfowitz, corrupt interests have been known to do far worse however for the sake of further study i have attached a pdf on the reasons wolfowitz was removed by the Montreal international forum.

    4)As far as limiting international assistance to education and limited NGO's. i would say it is the right thing to do given India's rainbow social fabric with a multitude of different ethnicities, religions and linguistic groups all co-habitating in the same space. India needs to make sure that any foreign group does not disturb this balance if that means leaving the Evangelists and Jehovah's witnesses out well so be it.

    5) i will not comment anything more on the denial of visas to the amnesty head except saying that it was a political move by the party in power at the time and does not reflect Indian foreign policy as a whole.

    6)On the last point let's just say each nation including India has skeletons in it's closet,International votes are decided on the vagaries of geopolitical considerations not on morals. the author being a citizen of the nation that has through it's foreign policies been directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of civilians in other nations of the world should realize that.
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The NPT was created to keep for the simple reason they did not want India in the nuclear weapons club, it would be stupid to sign a treaty that has been created to limit you, and prevent you from defending your natiional security, so what India didn't sign the NPT neither did 5 other nuclear weapon states or they dropped out or they will soon. North Korea,Iran,India,Pakistan, Israel. India still has not proliferated or violated any of the terms of the NPT while other non signatories like Pakistan have and signatories like China and Germany and other European nations have been extensively involved in proliferation in AQ Khan's network as well as actively proliferating to Iran, even Japan has proliferated and showed their hypocrisy. This article seems to be funded by big US nuclear like exporters llike GE who are bitter for getting little to nothing from the Bush nuclear deal after Obama changed the terms and USA lost a HUGE nuclear market to Russia,France, Canada and others.
     
  4. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    last article is interesting with Mrs Crosette expressing her concern for the plight of India's poor muslims and specificially viewing them by their religious identity and not as Indians. I wonder if Mrs Crosette feels the same concern for Palestinians,Iraqi's and Afghans??
     
  6. atleast_a_bronze

    atleast_a_bronze Regular Member

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    Barbara Crossette has been known for her flawed views/analysis. One of her previous articles in foreignpolicy site had been edited after many mistakes in the article were pointed out to the site. In short she is pro-Pakistan and India basher inspite of her India experience.
     
  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    she also failed to mention the fact that India does have good relations with Burma and actively resists sanctions in the UN against Burma and supplies weapons and goods to the military regime. A flaw in this article-NPT was not created during the start of the cold war it came decades later after USA and Russia had amassed more than 50,000 combined warheads.
     
  8. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Thanks for this insightful article. It is actually a backhanded compliment.

    Proves that India keeps its self-interests above all, is above foreign pressure & influce, and most importantly at the same time has successfully able to project itself as a peace loving soft power.

    Kudos to the media,bureaucracy and political class.
     
  9. atleast_a_bronze

    atleast_a_bronze Regular Member

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    A complete rebuttal to Barbara Crossette's article was given by Nitin Pai in the same Foreign Policy site.

    Why India Is No Villain
    Barbara Crossette is wrong: This rising power helps solve far more problems than it creates.

    BY NITIN PAI | JANUARY 7, 2010

    According to the Financial Times' Lucy Kellaway, "Elephant in the Room" was the most popular cliché to appear in major newspapers and journals in 2009. It is perhaps appropriate then that Barbara Crossette's latest diatribe against India appeared in Foreign Policy under that headline. Although it claims to show that India causes "the most global consternation" and "gives global governance the biggest headache," it is merely a series of rants and newsroom clichés selected entirely arbitrarily to support the author's prejudice.

    Listing India's alleged failings, Crossette makes the unfathomable assertion that it is India that causes the most consternation and the biggest headache for the world -- more than Afghanistan, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Pakistan, and China. Without an attempt to compare the failings across countries (And why only these countries? Why leave out the West and the rest?), it is logically impossible to arrive at the conclusion that one of them is the biggest culprit. But once you trade logic for hyperbole, you can fit just about any animal you like into the room. For Crossette, it is the pachyderm.

    Consider these facts instead: The only country to have militarily intervened to halt an ongoing genocide is India, which it did in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) in 1971. After the December 2004 tsunami, it was India's navy that was the first international responder, deploying within 24 hours and delivering humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Maldives. It subsequently coordinated operations with the United States, Japan, and Australia. India has been involved in U.N. peacekeeping from the very beginning and remains one of the biggest troop contributors to this day, often putting its soldiers in danger in conflicts that have nothing to do with national interests. Indian naval ships are also involved in maritime security operations from Somalia to the Strait of Malacca. Even this partial list is enough to prove that India is not, as Crossette believes, "a country of outsize ambition but anemic influence."

    Let's take a closer look at Crossette's rap sheet. First, she agrees with a quote from an article that appeared in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a journal that advocates arms control (hardly a neutral source), arguing that India's refusals to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty make it "comparable to other defiant nuclear states [and] will undoubtedly contribute to a deteriorating security environment in Asia." She doesn't explain how, because she would be hard-pressed to prove that India's "contribution" is comparable to that of China, which helped put the bomb in the hands of the likes of Pakistan, or North Korea, which brazenly violated the treaty it signed. Actions matter more than signatures.

    Second, on the Doha round of trade negotiations, Crossette blames India for single-handedly foiling a deal that "nobody loved, but one that would have benefited developing countries most." Does she really know better than the developing countries themselves? It seems odd that they would not love a deal that "would have benefited [them] most." It is just as presumptuous and illogical to blame the failure of Doha on India alone. Gideon Rachman, for instance, argues that "the Doha round ultimately broke down because of a stand-off between the United States, India, China and the European Union over agricultural trade." Turns out it takes more than one hand to wreck a multilateral deal.

    It is on the third point -- climate change -- that Crossette's proclivity for being selective with facts stands out most. She mentions the Indian environment minister's refusal to agree to binding carbon emission targets five months before the Copenhagen talks, but ignores his statement in Parliament five days before the negotiations pledging 20 to 25 percent carbon emission intensity cuts from the 2005 levels by 2020. Nonbinding yes, but nevertheless a serious commitment. And no country's commitments at Copenhagen were binding. She also ignores that in the end, the Copenhagen "deal" came about in part due to India's bridging of the differences between the United States and China.

    Fourth, on the basis of one data point -- the scandal over a pay increase to Paul Wolfowitz's girlfriend that precipitated his resignation as president of the World Bank -- Crossette alleges that India "attacks individuals." Wolfowitz, she says, was ousted "not because his relationship with a female official caused a public furor, but because he had turned his attention to Indian corruption and fraud in the diversion of bank funds." It is undeniable that there is corruption in India, but Crossette glosses over the fact that in the interview she quotes, Steve Berkman alleges that World Bank officials were involved in it too. What the latter actually said, as paraphrased by a journalist for Rediff India Abroad, is that "the international bureaucrats who run the Bank ... are the ones who conspired to nail Wolfowitz using the mini-scandal with his girlfriend to call for his ouster." Where does that leave Crossette's argument?

    Fifth, Crossette claims that India "regularly refuses visas for international rights advocates," a failing that she supposes occurs because such advocates are critical of the government. Granting that there is a case for India to be more liberal in its visa regime, the country does not lack robust, committed, and vocal human rights activists. Tune in to any Indian television channel. On the other hand, the U.N. Human Rights Council is not exactly a shining example of how the international community protects human rights. Domestic activism and the liberal democratic institutions that allow it are perhaps far more effective in safeguarding human rights.

    Ultimately, Crossette's suggestion that India presents a "headache" for global governance is a manifestation of an outdated mindset. It ignores the growing convergence of interests between India and the United States on the biggest challenges of this century: from establishing a liberal, democratic order to managing the rise of China to containing jihadi terrorism to addressing climate change and a host of other challenges. For those worried about rising elephants, make room if you don't want to be squeezed.
     
  10. rockdog

    rockdog Guest

    The Elephant in the Room: The biggest pain in Asia isn't the country you'd think

    How India Gives Global Governance the Biggest Headache

    Think for a moment about which countries cause the most global consternation. Afghanistan. Iran. Venezuela. North Korea. Pakistan. Perhaps rising China. But India? Surely not. In the popular imagination, the world's largest democracy evokes Gandhi, Bollywood, and chicken tikka. In reality, however, it's India that often gives global governance the biggest headache.

    Of course, India gets marvelous press. Feature stories from there typically bring to life Internet entrepreneurs, hospitality industry pioneers, and gurus keeping spiritual traditions alive while lovingly bridging Eastern and Western cultures.

    But something is left out of the cheery picture. For all its business acumen and the extraordinary creativity unleashed in the service of growth, today's India is an international adolescent, a country of outsize ambition but anemic influence. India's colorful, stubborn loquaciousness, so enchanting on a personal level, turns out to be anything but when it comes to the country's international relations. On crucial matters of global concern, from climate change to multilateral trade, India all too often just says no.

    India, first and foremost, believes that the world's rules don't apply to it. Bucking an international trend since the Cold War, successive Indian governments have refused to sign nuclear testing and nonproliferation agreements -- accelerating a nuclear arms race in South Asia. (India's second nuclear tests in 1998 led to Pakistan's decision to detonate its own nuclear weapons.)

    Once the pious proponent of a nuclear-free world, New Delhi today maintains an attitude of "not now, not ever" when it comes to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. As defense analyst Matthew Hoey recently wrote in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, "India's behavior has been comparable to other defiant nuclear states [and] will undoubtedly contribute to a deteriorating security environment in Asia."

    Not only does India reject existing treaties, but it also deep-sixes international efforts to develop new ones. In 2008, India single-handedly foiled the last Doha round of global trade talks, an effort to nail together a global deal that almost nobody loved, but one that would have benefited developing countries most. "I reject everything," declared Kamal Nath, then the Indian commerce and industry minister, after grueling days and sleepless nights of negotiations in Geneva in the summer of 2008.

    On climate change, India has been no less intransigent. In July, India's environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, pre-emptively told U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton five months before the U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen that India, a fast-growing producer of greenhouse gases, would flat-out not accept binding carbon emissions targets.

    India happily attacks individuals, as well as institutions and treaty talks. As ex-World Bank staffers have revealed in interviews with Indian media, India worked behind the scenes to help push Paul Wolfowitz out of the World Bank presidency, not because his relationship with a female official caused a public furor, but because he had turned his attention to Indian corruption and fraud in the diversion of bank funds.

    By the time a broad investigation had ended -- and Robert Zoellick had become the new World Bank president -- a whopping $600 million had been diverted, as the Wall Street Journal reported, from projects that would have served the Indian poor through malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and drug-quality improvement programs. Calling the level of fraud "unacceptable," Zoellick later sent a flock of officials to New Delhi to work with the Indian government in investigating the accounts. In a 2009 interview with the weekly India Abroad, former bank employee Steve Berkman said the level of corruption among Indian officials was "no different than what I've seen in Africa and other places."

    India certainly affords its citizens more freedoms than China, but it is hardly a liberal democratic paradise. India limits outside assistance to nongovernmental organizations and most educational institutions. It restricts the work of foreign scholars (and sometimes journalists) and bans books. Last fall, India refused to allow Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan journalists to attend a workshop on environmental journalism.

    India also regularly refuses visas for international rights advocates. In 2003, India denied a visa to the head of Amnesty International, Irene Khan. Although no official reason was given, it was likely a punishment for Amnesty's critical stance on the government's handling of Hindu attacks that killed as many as 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat the previous year. Most recently, a delegation from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a congressionally mandated body, was denied Indian visas. In the past, the commission had called attention to attacks on both Muslims and Christians in India.

    Nor does New Delhi stand up for freedom abroad. In the U.N. General Assembly and the U.N. Human Rights Council, India votes regularly with human rights offenders, international scofflaws, and enemies of democracy. Just last year, after Sri Lanka had pounded civilians held hostage by the Tamil Tigers and then rounded up survivors of the carnage and put them in holding camps that have drawn universal opprobrium, India joined China and Russia in subverting a human rights resolution suggesting a war crimes investigation and instead backed a move that seemed to congratulate the Sri Lankans.

    David Malone, Canada's high commissioner in New Delhi from 2006 to 2008 and author of a forthcoming book, Does the Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy, says that, when it comes to global negotiations, "There's a certain style of Indian diplomacy that alienates debating partners, allies, and opponents." And looking forward? India craves a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, seeking greater authority in shaping the global agenda. But not a small number of other countries wonder what India would do with that power. Its petulant track record is the elephant in the room.


    ---------------------------------------------------

    Chinese translation available at:

    Translation of the article in Chinese
     
  11. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Haha.....what a joke. An American will teach us "global governance". A person from a country that has the world's worst record of supporting terrorists and genocidal regimes for more than 6 decades, invading foreign countries without provocation causing massive human suffering, indulging in coups against democratically elected governments, consistently blocking numerous UN resolutions against its closest allies like Israel, indulging in Abu Gharibs and Guantanamo Bays, blocking international trade treaties, not implementing signed climate change treaties and delaying new ones, violating NPT, not ratifying CTBT while preaching that others do so, etc etc.

    As for corruption, it exists in every country in the world, including the US and India is no different. In fact, there are many more "have nots" than "haves" in India, so obviously, the disparity in income will make people corrupt.

    At least the corruption is not whitewashed by systematizing it as "lobbying", and viewing it as part of the normal political process of a democracy. :rolleyes:
     
  12. mehwish92

    mehwish92 Founding Member

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    While this article can be discarded as being nonsensical, we must admit that India does have several problems, and we must do whatever we can to fix them. Corruption is rampant in our country, and is, like the article says "as bad as Africa". If we can fix that, almost everything else will simply fall in place :)
     
  13. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    All the big powers who carved out Europe as their own post-war booty setup the United Nations Security Council, with 5 permanent members (USA, USSR, UK, France, PRC), not on the basis of representation for populations, but on the basis of might. These very countries had the power of Veto in the UNSC where some consolation seats are offered to other non-permanent members (read toothless observers).

    It is not easy to overlook the quaint coincidence of the Big 5 being the 'recognised' Nuclear Powers; the very 'recognition' being rather reflexive in nature than being accusative, i.e. they themselves recognised their own 'legitimate N-power statuses'!

    Nevertheless, what makes a country worthy of a Veto power? Money and Muscle. The Big 5 had it then (PRC achieved it with some delay). Now few other countries have it, India being the first in the queue. So, Money and Muscle automatically give India the de-facto Veto in many international treaties and talks, whether officially the UNSC is reformed or not.

    I am surprised that the author of the article is surprised. Rather rhetorical, methinks!
     

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